In 2012, I packed up my belongings and drove away from my little beach-side town in Florida to continue developing my career in Technical Writing. I ended up in Alabama for a few years, then made my way to Georgia where I now live with my wife and daughter.
I have visited my family in Florida at least a dozen times over the last eight years, but as we kicked off 2020, my wife looked at me and said, “We should go see your family.”
Instead of the normal routine, we decided to do a short trip, driving down on Friday, visiting Saturday and Sunday, then driving back up on Monday. We had a three day weekend, so we only needed to borrow time on Friday for the trip.
We also decided to stay at a hotel on the beach for this trip. Our daughter had yet to make it to the ocean on prior visits and she’s old enough now that she can really experience things and hold onto those memories.
So, that’s what we did.
When you come to my hometown, there’s two worlds existing in the same place. The locals, like my family, live and work here, so they frequent the same places you and I might visit when we’re back home.
A large part of the local economy, however, is fueled by the tourist and visitor dollars that pass through the town on the way to the beach every day.
When I would visit home in the past, I spent most of my time at my parent’s home, far away from the beach. We would visit Publix and Wal-Mart, but rarely experience anything outside of a normal visit.
Since we were staying on Flagler Avenue this trip, we got to see a different side of town, and additionally, participate in it! Whereas I might have just sat around at my folks house on prior visits, we now had to get up, get ready, and figure out what and/or how we were going to spend each day. There was something invigorating about it, and I am so thankful that I got to visit. It was a reminder of how inspiring my hometown can be.
We even got to watch SpaceX blow up a rocket from the Cape!
I am happy to be back in Georgia as I type this week’s post, but I can’t help feeling excited about the next opportunity I will have to bring my family to the beach and let them explore all of the things.
And to my friends and family, I am so thankful for the opportunities we have to see one another again. It warms my heart to watch my daughter visit her grandparents, aunts, great aunts, and anyone else that might happen to cross our path!
I won’t drone on about the trip, but I did want to share some of the memories we captured: